People say that when life gives you lemons, you are supposed to make lemonade. It entails that you need to see the situation in a positive light, no matter what. However, can you still do the same if life gives you polycystic ovaries?
“This is a hormone imbalance that can result in irregular periods, unwanted hair growth, acne, extra weight gain, baldness, and patches of dark skin on the back of your neck and inner thighs that weren’t caused by some guy giving you a hickey,” says Paul Joannides Psy.D.
The latter is the question that I kept on asking myself after I got diagnosed with PCOS. At the time, I had not gotten my menstruation for three months straight. I was not sexually active, so it was easy to rule out pregnancy. There were no other symptoms as well aside from the lack of bleeding each month. Hence, I asked my mom to book an appointment for me with her OB-GYN.
When the doctor was already using an ultrasound, I saw little spots covering my ovaries. From what I heard, the image should be smooth if everything’s fine. Due to the new picture, though, it allowed the OB-GYN to deduce that I have the polycystic ovary syndrome.
I admit that I moped a bit after learning about my PCOS. That was especially true in the next months when I was taking pills to boost menstruation. But I knew that there was no one to blame for it except for myself.
If you want to know how to cope after finding out that you have PCOS, here’s what you can do.
Accept The Condition
The first thing that you should do is to accept that you have polycystic ovary syndrome. There’s no denying it – the ultrasound undoubtedly says so. You may visit another OB-GYN to get the second opinion, but if the results are similar to what you have received from the first one, you have no choice but to accept the condition.
In truth, acceptance will always be the key to coping and possibly healing. You cannot do anything if you cannot cross this initial step.
Lessen Your Stressors
I am not a doctor, but I can say for sure that your lifestyle can affect your PCOS. When I got diagnosed with it, after all, I had weeks of sleepless nights. I was doing my thesis and writing full-time back then, so I did not have enough hours of rest. The situation only improved when I lessened my workload and slept a lot and ate healthily.
It will also be helpful if you can stay away from people who always stress you out. Stressors are not your best friend; they can aggravate your condition. If you want to have regular cycles, you need to let go of stressful folks in your life.
Keep An Open Mind Regarding Treatment
PCOS is technically easy to treat. Some people regularize their menstruation by exercising and eating well; others get prescribed with progesterone pills or injections. In case either will not work, though, the OB-GYN may tell you to take birth control pills for up to six months at max. I suggest staying open-minded when it comes to treatments.
“The key take home messages are that while lifestyle management is the first and most important step in the management of PCOS, addition of metformin to lifestyle modification appears to provide additional advantages in improving BMI and menstrual cyclicity in the medium term,” says Helena Teede MBBS, PhD, FRACP.
Therapy can also provide relief, mentally.
“Counseling and support may help make this goal more attainable to patients with PCOS, perhaps saving them the heartbreak and expense of infertility and its treatment,” according to Joann P. Galst Ph.D.
Remember that polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition. Meaning, any action that deviates from how your body is supposed to be can take your hormones out for a spin and activate your PCOS. You may never be able to overcome the disease, but you can learn how to cope with it.